By Brett Peruzzi, Contributing Writer
Region – George Horowitz, a long-time resident of Newton who recently moved to Dedham, first put on skis in the early 1970s. Now in his fifth decade on the slopes, at age 81 he shows no signs of slowing down yet.
“I love being outdoors,” said Horowitz. “Especially in great scenery.”
Off the slopes, Horowitz is just as active. He still works full-time running his structural engineering firm, but finds the time to lift weights several times a week, and also go on numerous hiking, biking, and kayaking trips.
“I try to take care of myself, food and exercise-wise,” he noted.
His love of skiing has taken him on numerous trips far and wide. For years he took two long-distance ski trips annually; one to Europe, and one to the western United States. These days, he goes every year on a trip out west with the Boston Ski & Sports Club, of which he is a long-time member. The club has many older members and offers a variety of ski trips annually to destinations in western North America, including Aspen, Colorado, Mammoth, California, and Whistler, British Columbia.
“I have known George for about 30 years,” said Randy Friedman, Ski & Travel Director for the Boston Ski & Sports Club. “I have led many of the BSSC ski vacations and George was on a number of them. He is a really nice guy, always gets along well with the diverse group that we get, and is well-liked and respected by others on the trip.”
“I am just amazed he is still at it, and with such passion,” Friedman observed. “I can only hope to be going that strong when I’m 81.”
Locally, Horowitz’s favorite destinations in New England are Loon Mountain and Waterville Valley in New Hampshire. Interestingly, he didn’t start skiing locally until the 1980s, a decade after he began – in the early years, it was something he did only on vacations out west or in Europe.
“I went to Club Med ski resorts in the beginning, where you ski in a group with an instructor all day,” said Horowitz.
While many people think of Club Med for tropical beach vacations, the company also offers ski vacations in the Alps at seventeen different resorts in several European countries, including France, Italy, and Switzerland.
“The reason I stopped going to Europe was the lack of orderly lines for the chair lifts, not to mention the miserable ski trail layouts, as well as having to coordinate my day with train schedules,” Horowitz recalled. “I have been fortunate enough to ski on weekdays and frequently at out of the way places out west, to avoid lift lines and other inconveniences.”
Horowitz noted how skiing has changed over the decades he’s been enjoying it.
“The big difference I see over the years are the changes in clothing and ski equipment,” he observed. “When I started I wore leather boots, stiff metal skis, and cotton underwear.”
While skiing in your later years may have some drawbacks, Horowitz notes that there is definitely one big benefit.
“Now that I’m over 80 there are many places I can ski for free!”
Horowitz offers some advice to older people about skiing.
“If you’re capable of doing it, it’s a great way to be outdoors and get exercise and feel good about yourself.”